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by William Nielsen
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Decisions are those final conclusions people make every day of their lives. The results of those decisions determine whether or not the right choices were made. However, one thing is absolutely certain, when a person makes a decision to become a christian, his or her total outlook on life changes for the better.
A perons' outlook on life before he or she becomes a christian is both simple and complex. A non-christian can have good or bad morals, have a close-knit family, and some form of security for the future.

When it comes to values or morals, a non-christian generally has little respect for life and others. He or she primarily has values which are based on individual self standards and they widely differ from others. He or she also beleves in individual liberty and rights. Non-christians generally think of themselves before others and their values and ethics tend to be self-centered and self-serving rather than serving others or placing others best interest first. However, if anything so happens to benefit others as a result of a self-centered decision, this justifies the means. In other words, before people become christians, their value systems are generally situational and deterministic.

The outlook on the family is considered a means of support and continuity for the non-christian. Without the family, many wouldn't have hope. This is why many do not have an optimistic outlook on life when it conerns the family. Some look for an alternative lifestyle or seek a family in a bar or a club. A non-christian does this in order to feel wanted and loved. However, the fact still remains, even if people deny it, they really do long for some form of family life, but seek it in the wrong places and with the wrong people.

When it comes to priorities in non-christians' lives, they generally tend to put themselves at the top of the list. Next, would be their interests, such as sex, money, sports, cars, clothes, or whatever takes up their time. The family is usually up on the top of the list along with boyfriends and girlfriends. The idea of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is usually hanging in the balance near the bottom of the list of priorities. For example, people generally pray to God only when they're in trouble or in need. But, when their situation is mended, they forget all about God. Image, money, job, and quality of life are all really the gods of the non-christian.

Finally, the future is viewed as something uncertain to many people before they become christians. Some don't believe that they have a spirit or after-life, and the life here on earth is the only one they're going to get. So, some people live life to the fullest every day, not caring what will happen tomorrow. Others try to live a moderate life with some responsibility and accountability in order to appease whatever judgement they might receive from their gods.

The outlook on life for a person who becomes a christian is also both simple and complex. The christian, however, has definite and absolute values, family worth, proper priorities and a secure future.

The values and morals of a person who becomes a christian are solidly based on the absolute principles found in the Bible. More specifically, they are in the "Ten Commandments." There is no confusion with moral relativism. The christian is actually more free and has more liberty because their is an absolute standard by which to measure right from wrong. More importantly, the values of a christian descend from God, and they give true hope. These values are God-centered and not self-centered. They are in the best interest of God and are reflected in the community and lives who obey what God says to do. It is God who justifies the actions and decisions of a christian, and not the individual.

The family is considered very important to the christian. Its importance is similar to the non-christian because it offers a sense of hope. However, the Bible outlines what a true family is and is not. If there are no family members living nearby, the christian can find fellowship with the family of God at a nearby chruch. This gives a better and truer sense of family worth than the world could ever offer.

When it comes to priorities in a christian's life, they are more concrete than those of a person before conversion. The first and foremonst important priority is the christian's personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Next in order would be the immediate family, and then the Church; finally, country, friends, duty, honor, or whatever activity takes up their time follows accordingly. Money, hobbies, image, and quality of life are all things a christian should not primarily pursue; rather, the christian is commanded to seek God first and His goodness and righteousness, then the needs of the heart will be met.

Finally, the future is the most secure element in the christian's outlook on life. A christian's attitude is one of expectation and peace. The christian knows where he or she is going when he or she dies, and this removes all doubt, worrry, and fear, which are common among non-christians. The life for the christian is living life to the fullest for God here on earth. The desire for the christian to live a godly life is not motivated on the basis of appeasing God's wrath and judgement, but it is based on the fact that he or she already knows God personally, and that He will receive him or her in heaven. In other words, a person can't work his or her way to heaven. It's too late to do any work, because the work was completed 2000 years ago when Jesus Christ died on the cross at Calvary.

It is important, every once and a while, to take time to reflect upon the questions of life, such as who am I?, where am I going?, and why?, does God exist?, and can I know Him? Most people do in fact think upon these questions, but not deep enough and long enough to answer them. The only way people can truly change for the better is to make a decision for the inward transfomation of the heart which is done by trusting Jesus Christ as Savior. This transformation begins the relationship a person has with God and gives hope, peace, security , eternal life and love in the midst of a hateful, decaying, dying world.

William Nielsen
July, 2006

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